This morning, the Washington Redskins announced that they will be changing their team name, which had been in place for 87 years.
I grew up in Virginia, just 2 hours south of Washington DC. Most of my extended family lives in Northern Virginia, and many of them have rooted for the Redskins for a long time. While the San Francisco 49ers are my team, I’m always happy to see when the Redskins do well (which hasn’t been very often for the last few decades).
Washington’s team name has been mired in controversy for quite some time, as it references Native Americans in a way that many view as derogatory (I see it that way, and I think this commentary explains it well from the perspective of one Native American). I last brought up this topic in 2014, at which time I said, “there’s no question in my mind that the right thing to do would be to change the name.”
Despite that, the team owner has dug in his heels a number of times about changing the name. So it was shock, surprise, and elation that I heard the news today. This is really happening! Finally, finally, finally.
While I think it’s long overdue and perhaps due in part to major sponsors of the team voicing their concerns, I think it’s always worth commending someone when they choose to make a positive change. It takes courage to grow, mature, and improve, especially in the public eye.
That leaves us with the question: What will they change the name to? The ESPN article seems to indicate that Washington is considering a military-themed name. Yeah…I’m not a fan of that idea. Football is a sport played for the purpose of entertaining people, while the military has a very different focus. Let’s keep sports fun, starting with the name (though I do like the alliteration of Washington Warriors).
What do you think? Can you think of a good name for a football team with maroon and gold colors?